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Again we are hit with more devaluation news coming from legacy airlines in the States: American/Alaska and United. Frenemies, American and Alaska have announced that they will no longer allow redemptions on eachothers flights starting March 1st 2020. I’d highly recommend reading Gary’s insightful article detailing this, but the long and short…if you have miles in either program that you wish to redeem…get to it.
Miles to Memories brought our attention to United’s sneaky admission that starting November 15th, partners will convert to Dynamic pricing despite their award chart stating other pricing. Honestly, this is could go a number of ways, but odds are…it won’t help the consumer. While we see many favorable rates on Air France, and certainly their promo awards, the move to dynamic pricing means the airlines don’t have to disclose how they price, what the price will be, and ultimately can manipulate pricing to their heart’s desire.
Airlines, by in large, make their money through the sale of their miles – primarily through lucrative credit card co-branding and straight to consumer sales. Why on earth would you jeopardize the valuation of the main profit generating piece of your business? There’s certainly an enormous wave of attention on points and miles, I mean just look at the number of blogs certainly in the space highlighting the numerous ways to utilize them, but creating redemption structures that are veiled and lack transparency does not motivate my loyalty.
I’ve been loyal to Alaska over the last few years, leaving AA as an Executive Platinum. Sure, I have to fly other airlines from time to time, but the treatment I get as an MVP Gold, and the knowledge i’m earning miles for every mile I fly, not the dollars spent, have incentivized me to go out of my way to fly them even when it’s inconvenient comparatively. I’d suspect that AA will follow in United’s footsteps soon enough and devalue partners as well, as they’ve already announced their chart will move wholly dynamic. Sad.
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